Virginia is working to make re-entry better

Virginia’s former offenders return to prison at a lower rate than any from 45 states that recently reported three-year re-incarceration rates for felons. In 2017, Virginia reported a 23.4 percent recidivism rate. Virginia’s rate, edged out ahead of Oklahoma (24 percent), South Carolina (24.9 percent) and Minnesota (25 percent). Of the 11,496 State Responsible (SR) offenders released from incarceration in Virginia in FY2012, means 2,687 were re-incarcerated within three years. The Department credits its success to a “reentry-begins-at-day-one” approach that emphasizes programming and treatment during incarceration followed by effective supervision and guidance after release. VADOC uses evidence-based practices to tailor its efforts and address each offender’s needs.

Due to limitations in capacity in VADOC facilities, some SR offenders will serve their entire incarceration in a local or regional jail. The number of SR offenders in jails increased by 19% from June 30, 2010 to June 30, 2015 (from 7,342 to 8,747), and then that total dropped by 8% on June 30, 2016. The number of SR Releases who were “Jail Only” has risen from 27% of total SR Releases in FY2010 to more than one-half in FY2017 (55%).

The three-year re-incarceration rate among Jail Only offenders increased from 25.7% for the FY2010 SR Releases to 27.7% for the FY2012 SR Releases, and then it declined to 25.6% for the FY2013 SR Releases. Among the DOC Facility offenders, the rate dropped from 21.8% for the FY2010 SR Releases to 20.3% for the FY2013 SR Releases.

Norfolk Program Developed to Keep Repeat Offenders Out of Jail

The Virginia Office of the Attorney General and Norfolk Probation and Parole have begun a program using evidence-based programming to target high-risk offenders and improve supervision success rates to keep them from returning to jail. By addressing individuals’ risk needs and reducing recidivism, the program aims to increase community safety and reduce violent and other crime.

The project will target gang-involved supervisees. Using COMPAS as a validated risk assessment, high-risk/high-need gang-involved supervisees will receive cognitive behavior programs while incarcerated ,followed by evidence-based family interventions during community supervision. The resulting supervision plan will provide participants with appropriate evidence-based services – including addressing individual criminogenic needs.

Read the WAVY-TV Norfolk story »

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